Singer-songwriter Carole King’s popular hit “Where You Lead,” contains the verse:
“Where you lead, I will follow
Anywhere that you tell me to
If you need, you need me to be with you
I will follow where you lead”
Whether or not you’re a Carole King enthusiast, she says something profound with these lyrics. Where leaders lead, followers follow. This idea, which seems so simple in theory, has a practical lesson for organizations – train your leaders well because where leaders lead their followers will follow.
A comprehensive leadership development program can generate leaders that guide team members with skillfulness and drive success in your organization. The following information will guide you on your journey to training A+ leaders that energize your workforce.
Why invest in a leadership development program?
“Leaders are born not made.” is a popular misnomer. The fact is, leadership skills are both inherent and learned, but experts emphasize that even those with natural leadership skills greatly benefit from additional training. A 2022 survey by OfficeVibe found that:
- 75% of employees who display low engagement levels or leave their jobs say it’s due to their manager or leadership.
- 53% of respondents have searched for jobs in the last year.
- 25% feel the feedback they receive is frequent enough to help them understand how to improve.
- 75% of employees wish that their manager could define more precise goals.
- 47% of people say they regularly feel overwhelmed at work.
It’s clear from these statistics there are several areas where leadership can make or break the employee experience including feedback, stress management, engagement, and goal setting. What can also be seen from the survey is that people aren’t afraid to consider other job opportunities. These results create a compelling case for ensuring your organization has skilled leaders at every level.
Outlining your Program
Outlining a successful training program begins with establishing your desired learning outcomes. This means listing key skills and performance competencies that are important to the success of your organization.
Some suggested leadership skills include:
- active listening
- giving feedback
- project planning
- strategic thinking
- time management
- goal alignment
The next step once you’ve outlined the learning outcomes and gained leadership buy-in is choosing content. The BizLibrary Collection offers more than 9,000 carefully curated video courses, including lessons and content mapping on leadership skills. When choosing a content provider for your online training courses, you’ll want to make sure that the content is current. We suggest using courses that are no older than five years, so your leaders are gaining insights that are up-to-date with current research and trends.
Microlearning is another way to help employees learn quickly and efficiently. These short video lessons are packed with information and perfect for training on the go or for those whose busy schedules make it hard to participate in more traditional training sessions.
Once you’ve gathered your content, you can begin scheduling and promoting your Leadership Training Program. One way to boost participation in these programs is by outlining the benefits to learners. These benefits will be specific to your organization. Consider these topics:
- Mastering Conflict Resolution Skills
- Becoming an Expert at Giving Feedback
- Developing Skills that Empower Employees
- Becoming a Master at Managing Projects
- Improves Risk Management Skills
- Learning Direct, Compassionate Communication Strategies
Mastery of these skills will help your learners reach the next level of their leadership and management capabilities.
Along with program content, we recommend incorporating additional learning incentives and activities into your training program. Reinforcing the information in your training program deepens information retention among your learners, and by leveraging incentives you can encourage teamwork and makes training exciting and fun for participants.
Promoting your training program is critical to its longevity and usefulness in your organization. Get your learners excited by communicating the long-term impacts these skills will have on their professional lives along with any program incentives you may have included. Email sequences and promotional videos are a great way to connect with your learners about your leadership training program. An LMS is an incredible tool for training employees. Through capabilities like gamification and learning boosters, you’re learners retain learned skills easier and enjoy their courses as well.
You can also encourage participation through platforms, like BizSkills, that use career mapping and skills ratings to help learners on their skills development journey. Personalized upskilling platforms give employees the power to choose skills they want to learn or get better at, while also providing managers the opportunity to rate and assign skills that need improvement for a learner’s job performance. The balance between required and elective learning is the best of both worlds and has been shown to have great, positive impacts on skills ratings and development in participating organizations.
It’s no surprise that training programs have a positive impact on organizations when they are designed and implemented correctly. When organizations consider the cost benefits of their training programs, leadership training should be a priority topic.
- 86% of the companies able to provide figures to calculate ROI from leadership training indicated they had at least made their investment back
- 19% of companies saw an ROI of at least 50 times (5000%) the initial investment
- 28% of companies saw an ROI of 10 to 49 times the investment
Here are some additional statistics from a leadership training research study conducted by the Journal of Applied Psychology:
- Leadership training programs can lead to a 25% increase in learning
- 28% increase in leadership behaviors performed on-the-job
- 20% increase in overall job performance
- 25% increase in organizational outcomes
Investing in leaders will directly impact organizations and will especially have positive impacts on some of today’s biggest business challenges such as employee retention and hiring, engagement, and remote work productivity. Employees rely on their leaders to set the standard of a company’s work culture and are not afraid to look for other opportunities if that culture doesn’t align with their principles.
Whose buy-in will you need and what strategies are available?
It is essential to have the support of C-suite or VP leadership no matter what training program you’re trying to implement. Based on the OfficeVibe statistics, training managers and leaders should be a top priority in retaining new talent and maintaining excellent company culture.
When securing buy-in from key supporters it is also important to show how you will measure success. The Kirkpatrick Model is an excellent resource to consider when creating KPIs for your program. You can find an outline of this model and strategies in our ebook, Using The Kirkpatrick Model for Training Evaluation.
You can also check out our blog on Proving the ROI of your Training Program for further insights into how to further the ROI of your training programs.
Learners have a lot to gain from continuous development. Increasing their skillset makes them more marketable for internal and external career opportunities and decreases stress in their daily job roles.
Leadership training programs teach skills to:
- Inspire team members to think critically about their job roles
- Engage employees so they are excited about their contributions
- Invigorate team members to be creative with their project solutions
- Support individuals when they are struggling with their job performance
- Uplift employees when they try new and creative things
- Drive organizational success by utilizing team members’ strengths and building up areas where there is room for improvement
Leading to Succeed
So why should your organization invest in leadership training? Because great leaders champion change, energize employees, and demonstrate a strong company culture that employees can feel invested in. Leadership training is shown to significantly increase ROI- so really the question should be, why not invest in leadership training?
The logic Carole King so powerfully pointed out in her song holds true: where leaders lead, employees will follow. So, train your leaders to set an example that promotes positive work culture and life-long learning, and gives employees the freedom to be curious, foster ingenuity, and reach new levels of success.
BizLibrary has expert training courses designed to generate A+ leadership skills! Check out our Expert Insight Series to preview content.